There is a constant struggle to find the "Ethereum killer", as the second largest crypto is suffering from high gas fees and slow transactions. There is a great number of blockchains that focus on speed, security or cost. Tezos has been in development and building steam for almost 8 years now, can it be the blockchain that takes Ethereum off of its pedestal?
Development for Tezos started in 2014 and was built from the ground up to offer an alternative to Bitcoin (also Ethereum). Tezos was fairly different when it came to development in 2014 as most coins there were forked off of Bitcoin or Ethereum. The main difference that the Tezos Foundation focused on was to have a smart contract blockchain with greater security than its competitors, although that would come at a higher price. In regard to price the tables have turned, and Tezos is now cheaper than its biggest competitor Ethereum.
When the blockchain's main-net finally launched in 2018, after 4 years of development, it prepared for it with an ICO for Tezos in 2017. This fund raising managed to raise 65 500 Bitcoin & 361 112 Ethereum, that amounted to 232 million dollars and would've been worth 5,1 billion dollars. When investors were to grab their offered coins, they were faced with needing to provide a full KYC, this was never announced ahead of time, causing a great number of upset investors. Since the launch Tezos have been implementing new features continuously to improve the chain, all of which go through its governance system to verify any new change before it is developed.
Main function of the blockchain is the on-chain hosted smart contracts which can perform various actions. Tezos' smart contracts sets itself apart as the biggest focus is on security, it uses OCaml as programming language for the smart contracts, this language can be compared to C++ which is robust and offers great control & security. Most of these functions include what you expect a modern smart contract blockchain to be able to perform; NFTs, Dapps & their own FA2 smart contract standard.
The consensus method used is a variety of Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS), called Liquidated-Proof-of-Stake (LPoS). Users can lock their Tezos in a stake (without losing control of the coins) and become a "baker". "Bakers" gain the ability to verify block creation and get given Tezos as reward in proportion as their stake lock. If a user locks less than the required amount to become a full "baker", they will still be able to get rewards and contribute to the block creation. The amount of Tezos you hold also increase your voting weight in the governance polls.
Tezos is used to pay fees to perform any and all actions on the main blockchain. It also helps maintain on-chain security through staking & governance polls. The amount of Tezos in any given wallet means that the holder has greater weight behind their voice. Sadly this means that wallets that hold a large number of tokens can greatly affect changes to the network, creating sort of a "cartel" or small group of people that would focus on their own self-interest. Tezos tries to offset this by allowing holders of any size to help make their voice heard so that there won't be any centralisation.
The initial ICO cast this coin in bad light despite the foundation and idea being very strong. This coupled with the development teams having issues releasing several large improvements to the network on time made the uncertainty surrounding the chain further cemented. With time however, Tezos proved its merit and has been a stable network that has gotten more successful as the larger smart contract chains faced difficulty. Particularly when the NFT craze came in Tezos became very popular. This chain offers a secure alternative/solution to most other blockchains today and seems to see promising growth in its future.
- Great on-chain governance staking protocol
- Low fees & great security
- Hard to build on top off
- ICO token drama